No one likes to talk about the bad things that could happen but to truly prevent them from happening it helps to know them and understand the dangers and risks. We want your vacation to Panama City Beach to be fun and enjoyable and nothing ruins a vacation more than not being prepared. here are some things to keep in mind when vacationing in Panama City Beach and you’re staying near or on the beach.
Yay for sun! Unless you get burned. You don’t want to be uncomfortable while you’re here and getting a sun burn, even a slight one can make your skin feel tight and itchy. Too much sun and you could be in danger of heatstroke. He disorder symptoms include more than simply a sunburn but could be accommodated with cramps, heat exhaustion, fainting and dehydration. Spending a day at the beach can be fun but dangerous if you don’t apply the right sunscreen. Of course you want to get tan while you’re on vacation but even SPF 30 can provide you with good skin protection and still give you a great tan. You just want to remember to reapply every couple of hours or so. Spray sunscreen works well to get all the nooks and crannies but nothing protects better than a lotion with a high SPF that is rubbed into the skin. Remember, sun burns can pop up over 24 hours after being away from the sun and until full damage is visible. If you realize that you’ve been sunburned and it’s accompanied by headaches, fever, or chills you want to seek medical attention right away. We want you to have fun and enjoy the sun while on vacation.
Rip tides and rip currents account for more than 80% of the rescues performed by Surfside Beach lifeguards. These powerful currents of water flow away from the shore quickly and compulsive numbers with them. You want to be careful of the surf zone past the line of breaking waves. It’s best to recognize the danger of recurrence and be aware of what they look like. If you are caught in one don’t find it! You’ll want to swim parallel to the shore at an angle back to land. Make sure to swim at beaches that have lifeguards that are well equipped to help if there’s an emergency. Swimming on your own in an isolated location with there is no lifeguards or even other vacationers can leave yourself susceptible to emergencies without health.
Our weather in Panama City Beach is mostly sunny for the majority of the year but we can’t have bad days. If ever we get lightning, thunder or heavy downpours it’s best to simply stay away from the beach. You don’t want to be caught at the pool if there is a lightning storm. Most lifeguards at pools will inform swimmers to leave the pool during a lightning storm for their safety. You want to wait 30 minutes after the last thunderclap before heading back to the beach. Anytime thunder roars and lightning strikes you want to head indoors as the safest place to be a substantial buildings and hardtop vehicles. Simply grab a cold beverage and enjoy the light show from the safety of your hotel room.
There are several dangerous marine life animals in the Gulf Coast and although they are not prominent it is something to be aware of. From time to time we do have sharks and the most common types found in Gulf waters include the Bull shark, Nurse shark, Hammerhead, Thresher, White Tip shark, Black Tip shark and Mako shark. Although most of these sharks can be dangerous in and of themselves very few of them are cause for concern. The Nurse shark are considered harmless and other species like the Thresher are rarely found in shallow waters. You want to be aware of the Purple Beach Warning Flag if lifeguards hoist it up. Once you see this purple flag it’s time to get out of the water until you are instructed to go back in. You want to obey all posted flags including red “Beach Closure” flags, which can mean that sharks have been spotted in the area and the water may be unsafe. But don’t worry, sharks usually don’t stick around for long.
A good way to avoid dealing with wildlife in the water is to avoid brackish waters. If you cannot see the shark they probably can’t see you but they love to hunt in cloudy waters. So don’t count on spotting a fin in order to avoid swimming with a shark. Of course you don’t want to fish while you’re in the water so keep the bait out of pockets especially if you’re going to go in the water and if you have any open wounds steer clear of the ocean.
Alligators may also make an appearance although they typically stay far away from the noise and activity of public beaches in the Gulf Coast. They are primarily found in rivers and small ponds so it’s very rare and unusual to see one on the beach but not impossible. If you happen to run into one while touring some of the state parks around Panama City Beach you want to keep your cool and not make any sudden movements. Slowly move away from the alligator and find a new trail.
Other fish including the Barracuda, Lionfish and the Hardhead Catfish are several fish that you might find lurking around the reefs. So pretty much mind their own business but in case you come in contact with one of these you want to seek medical attention right away. The lionfish can have pretty venomous fin rays in the barracuda can get aggressive but is primarily found in the deep Gulf waters. Jellyfish may also be one of the reasons for those purple flags. There are hundreds of different jellyfish species in the Gulf of Mexico but the most dangerous of the Portuguese Man-of-War and the Box Jellyfish. These can cause severe pain but they are very slow-moving and typically ride the wave capturing fish and other small sea creatures so avoiding one can be very easy. Remember to watch those flags and just be aware of your surroundings.
Honestly, this is probably one of the most common dangers at today’s beaches. It’s a debris left over from none other than mankind. Whether it has washed up on the shore from boats or if people have left behind garbage, this is one of the most common factors in scrapes, cuts and burns on feet, legs and arms. In Panama City Beach, each hotel and resort does their utmost to protect their residents and guests by keeping the beach as clean as possible but it is also up to us to be careful where we walk. Use flip-flops to and from the beach as often as possible to avoid any cuts from broken bottles or glass. The sand alone can get pretty hot but so can a smoldering cigarette butt that someone is left on the beach. Just be careful where you walk and you’ll have a great time.
We want you to have a great time in Panama City Beach but it also means understanding the dangers. Just as with any place in the world, there are dangers, risks and issues to be had but understanding them and watching out for them to keep you and your family safe and healthy.